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Project Planning



It is important to plan your project especially if it is large, expensive and will involve a number of parties. If you fail to plan it properly you are likely to miss deadlines, increase costs and generate complaints. In this article we provide a short overview about how to plan your projects

Initial Steps

Your project will have a set of objectives to achieve or reasons why it was set up. List your objectives and for each one write down the tasks that need to be completed to achieve the objective.

If there is anything you are unsure about, do your best to find the answers you need to clear these up.

Decide on the project team and secure any sign off (from line managers or clients) needed to set up the team and project.

Writing Your Plan

Now it's time to write your plan. You may decide to write the plan by yourself and then talk it through with your project team. The other option is to write it with your project team, although this may feel slower it may encourage the team to own the plan and the project. If you have an experienced project team, the plan will benefit from the team's skills and experience.

Project Plan and Gantt Chart

Draw a table with rows and columns. Label each column as follows:

  • Task
  • Who (person responsible for completing the task, task owner)
  • Start date (the date the task will be started)

  • End Date (the date the task needs to be completed by)

  • Percentage Completion (this will allow you to track/monitor task completion)
  • You have now created a simple Gantt chart (named after Henry Gantt) to help you manage your project. Through your Gantt chart you can assign people tasks, record milestones and group tasks which depend on each other. At a moment's glance you will be able to ascertain your project's progress just by looking at your Gantt Chart.

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